Governor General's Literary Award winner 2009
CLA Children's Book of the Year Award shortlist, 2009
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 2009 finalist
Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards shortlist, 2010
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009"Starred Choice
Pennsylvania School Library Association Top 40 Fiction, 2009
Red Maple Book Award nominee 2010
Rocky Mountain Book Award Shortlist, 2011
Kit Byrne's family is a strong one, but their strength and unity are being severely tested, as life becomes more and more desperate in 19th century rural Ireland. Lord Fraser is the wealthy landowner, from which the Byrne's and many other families rent their lands. When the potato blight hits, the farmers can no longer make their payments much less produce food for themselves, and the cruel system has no mercy as Lord Fraser wields an iron fist, driving families from their homes and burning their cottages.
Kit's dreams are now dashed as her family experiences a series of tragedies, and as she undergoes a daunting event that tears her away from her family. With her father dead, she must fight for survival and help her ailing mother and siblings escape Ireland for good.
This story is a glimpse into the tragic events of the Great Hunger, the famine that devastated Ireland, forcing thousands of impoverished families to seek better livelihoods outside of their homeland.